Wounded warrior Derek Weida, who lost a leg while deployed in Iraq in 2007, posted a viral rant dedicated to gun control activist David Hogg. Weida’s post has over 41,000 reactions and over 18,000 shares.
The rant was written from the perspective of Weida “listening to David Hogg speak” and it began with a direct piece of advice for Hogg: “Watch what you say.” “I got shot on a house raid in Iraq. My getting shot didn’t make me a professional on war, international relations, house raids (obviously!), or guns,” wrote Weida, adding that despite the “horrible thing” that happened to him — and the feelings he had against the war in Iraq — he “didn’t come home and protest the war.” Sounds like words to live by.
RANT: Accurate portrayal of me listening to David Hogg speak. Look, I’m sorry dude, sincerely. It is horrible… School…
Weida acknowledged that he “signed up to be shot at” and the Parkland students didn’t. “So, I empathize with you and your peers because whereas I signed up to be shot at, none of you did,” Weida wrote. However, he had a few things to say about gun control. “It’s not a gun problem, not a people problem, it’s a culture thing,” wrote Weida. “America loves guns. Accept that just like I had to accept that America loves God. Don’t ever be so quick to tell a whoooole lot of people how to live. F***ing NOBODY wants school shootings, mass shootings, shootings of any kind where somebody ends up injured or dead. Nobody.”
“I’ve learned that the way I live and the things I believe have nothing to do with how others want to live or what they want to believe. I’m a well regulated idealist,” Weida said. He was quick to state that no one “wants shootings of any kind” and in a way he’s “with” the anti-gun students. But he added, “The people you’re arguing against… It’s not even about the gun. It’s about the freedom and the right… And you can’t win an argument against that, nor should you (In most cases),” he explained.
In the end, Weida told Hogg it’s wise to think before you speak and if you do speak, don’t be a jerk. “The reality is humans gonna human and when humans human bad things happen sometimes but on the grand scale of things… Like 99.999% of people are good. Yes, let’s find ways to deter those .001% of people as best we can but they’re gonna accomplish their task regardless… Most likely. I guess I just want to say don’t be so quick to talk. Don’t be so quick to think YOU are somehow the ONE person who has things figured out. You want to make a change? Cool!! But… Try to be less of a c*** about it.”
In 2015, Weida was featured in Stars & Stripes highlighting how physical fitness helped pull him out of his depression after losing his leg to an insurgent’s bullet in 2007 while deployed to Iraq. Weida is a 29 year-old veteran of the 82nd Airborn. Now, Weida is a social media personality and fitness guru. Derek Weida’s humorous, profanity-filled Internet videos on bodybuilding and weight loss have attracted millions of viewers. The amputee veteran has his own clothing line and tens of thousands of people have reached out to him for diet and exercise advice.
“The two things that really helped me fall out of that dark period of my life was reconnecting with my veteran friends and purpose-driven fitness,” he said. “We use fitness as an alternative to alcohol and things like that. I think fitness is kind of the universal healer.” Weida changed things with his positive actions, not by taking away rights and protesting.
“A lot of veterans stop taking care of themselves; they stop doing [physical training] and they get out and gain 30 to 50 pounds, which can fuel some depression,” he said. “A lot of that can be combatted by re-establishing that sense of pride within them, and reminding them how great they are.” Weida’s social media posts on Facebook and Instagram provide an almost daily source of fitness motivation for his followers — veterans, service members and civilians.
“Watching his videos and seeing what he can do with one leg really inspires me,” said Russell Allmandinger, 30, of Las Vegas, who was born with club feet and elected to have his left leg amputated below the knee in July. “With him being an amputee, too, he shows me workouts that suit me better than a person with two legs. He’s shown me through his videos and workouts that I can press on.”
Perhaps David Hogg should stop and listen to the advice of someone who truly had to overcome a life changing event. Culture is the problem and right now, Hogg is part of that culture and problem.
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